A Guest Writer ...

(I have resisted the ever present temptation to edit or tamper with someone else’s words. Said I wouldn’t, so I didn’t. I figure anyone, that good at keeping a secret, deserves the respect of “hands off”. So without further adieu let me relinquish the floor to our Guest Writer...)

Praise Where Its Due…

Dear Readers
I am hoping that Village Farang will publish this article as one of his main blogs rather than merely as a “comment” because many of his regular readers may find it interesting.
At this stage I must apologise to Village Farang for not letting him know sooner that while I have been making comments on his blog site for several months as “Village Surfer” I am also the male half of his “Visitors from New Zealand”.
I have had many holidays and travelled through over two dozen countries in the past twenty years, but our two weeks with Village Farang and his beautiful wife would have to be among the most rejuvenating and restful I have ever experienced. It was great to have a base where we could relax, recover and enjoy companionship in luxury, in between our various expeditions.
After several days of celebrations with my Thai partner’s family near Bangkok, we flew in a Boeing 737 for an hour and a half towards Thailand’s northern border with Burma and Laos. We were picked up from Chiang Rai airport by Village Farang and his lady and escorted in their luxury vehicle to lunch at a great “locals” restaurant in the outskirts of the town. After a further sixty kilometre journey we arrived at VF’s mansion next to a rice growing village in the countryside. With the village two hundred metres away to one side, the views all around the house were soothing to the eyes with different shades of green from luxuriant plots of recently transplanted rice seedlings at different stages of growth. Villagers with peaceful expressions added colour to the scenery as they inserted seedlings into the water logged soil in half planted rectangles. Clumps of trees dotted the fields as one gazed further afield and took in the darker green and blue of the hills and mountains in the distance.
We felt pampered, with good views from the luxury of a five star visitors’ room with toilet, hot showers, a queen size bed and air conditioning. The day after our arrival we were taken on a tour of interesting little towns and wide rivers on the borders of Laos and than Burma.
In the evenings VF’s talented wife would serve tasty Thai meals while breakfasts included exotic fruits and VF’s special coffee brewed for exactly eight (or was it seven?) minutes. There was never a dull moment with the puppy and dogs allowing us all to play with them. As the days passed the girls enjoyed visiting the temple as well as relatives and friends in the village while VF and I went out on walks and bike rides and reminisced about exploits from our younger days and philosophised on the state of humanity.
As someone who grew up in the countryside watching the locals working their farmland, and as a dog lover playing with the dogs, I was able to re-live my childhood on a daily basis. This nostalgia meant a lot to me, and I will often remember that this “special vantage point and playground” evolved from and was a reflection of VF’s unique “energy”.
Village Farang and his family were able to have a break from us when I talked my partner into joining me on an amazing three day trek amongst rainforests and hill tribes in the mountains.
On our return we were again treated to delicious meals by VF’s wife whose physique and exquisite taste in clothes is a sight for sore eyes. Then our hosts drove us to Chiang Mai and left us there to enjoy the city and its ancient temples. Several days and a few bus rides later we returned “the house” to once again recover and relax in luxury.
In New Zealand in the weekends I often go away on surfing trips or work in the garden while my partner catches up with her Thai friends. This gives us enough of a break from each other to really value our stable relationship. So after two and half weeks of us being cooped up together all the time I decided to give her a break from me while I went and spent a couple of days in Chiang Rai. This also allowed her and my hosts to more candidly reminisce about their many years of friendship without the presence of my “less familiar” energy. The trip to Chiang Rai allowed me to enjoy travelling on my own as I had done during two years of backpacking around the world. It also gave me chance to get over a slight annoyance with my girlfriend about some “fair sharing of workloads” issues which had built up over several weeks to a level where it had finally required discussion. We needed a few hours apart to eliminate any residual negativity that may have built up, and to take on board the “win-win” solutions we had discussed.
I got the feeling that Village Farang did not agree with or wish to understand my ideas of “cutting to the chase” and the “value of time spent apart”. However, being a gentleman he did not impose his opinions on me, and left me to deal with my own baggage, with the comment, “whatever floats your boat”. But that is all good because life would be boring if we all had the same attitudes to ways of communicating and resolving issues.
On my return from Chiang Rai, Village Farang and I once again enjoyed discussing “the meaning of life” in between attending to the puppy and entertaining the other dogs. VF also showed us how his computer works and the software he uses to enhance photographs and manage his blogs. Meanwhile the ladies enjoyed their last days together before we were dropped off at Chiang Rai airport.
Safely back at home now, we look forward to Village Farang and his wonderful wife coming to stay with us in New Zealand sometime. They can rest assured that they will have as good a time with us as we had with them.
We thank, “Village Farang and his lovely lady” for looking after us in their home, and giving us a chance to enjoy Northern Thailand.